Strange hearing issues

Stroman

Platinum Member
I'm mostly going to throw this out there as a curiosity, and I'm interested to see if anyone else with tinnitus experiences this.

First off, as mentioned, I have tinnitus a bit in both ears. I'm of that age, where all my younger years drumming were spent without hearing protection. Also, unrelated to drumming, I lost almost all hearing in my right ear due to either a virus or autoimmune issue. I've lived with both for years.

What this post is about, is that I've started hearing odd sounds when there is a sound like an A/C unit or loud fan, and that's the only sound in the room. It seems I hear birds chirping, or snippets of music, or sometimes just strange sci-fi movie-type sounds just under the noise of the fan.

Anyone else experience this? It's really bizarre. My doc says it's just a trick of the brain, but it can be unnerving. (Interestingly, the tinnitus never really bothered me or interfered with things. It's just there.)

TL/DR: I hear weird noises when a fan is on. Do you??
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Yes. I'm constantly asking my wife "do you hear that?" and it's almost always one of a few things: a/c, refrigerator, dish washer, washing machine.

Some background: I have tinnitus, the ringing never goes away. I've been hard of hearing my whole life. Had tubes by 5, middle ear infections every winter until I stopped growing, and swimmers ear in the summer. Put drag racing, guns, and loud music on top of that. My parents were not really hearing protection savvy. The clarity of what I hear is not really affected, but the volume that I hear is significantly reduced and always has been. My wife can watch the tv with the volume at like 12. I need it at like 35.

Basically I hear everything, but have a hard time distinguishing what things are if they are quiet. Because of this, certain things sound funny.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Interesting, Brian. With my hearing loss, the clarity is definitely affected. When I was having extensive hearing tests done, the audiologist showed me how the different signals my brain is getting from my two ears actually confuses it, kind of muddying the sound. It was pretty fascinating, if a little depressing. Except for stereo location, I'd almost be better off if I was completely deaf in my right ear.

I have slight loss in my left ear from exposure to noise, but the biggest difficulty comes from the interference between the two ears. The actual loss in the left ear is pretty minor, especially considering all my hearing has been through!

All that is unrelated to the phantom birds and space alien sounds, though! That stuff is fairly new.
 

GruntersDad

Honorary Lifetime CEO
Staff member
I suffer from tinnitus as well, and what I hear 24/7 is a high pitched sound, but almost a hissing sound like if you haven't quite turned off the water fully. But I don't hear aliens or strange sounds.
 
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Morrisman

Platinum Member
I woke up one morning with a sudden pitch shift in my left ear. Midrange sounds in my left ear were a third lower than the right. There was also a slight delay/chorus effect, and a low pitch rumbling tinnitus in my left ear.
After an MRI scan to rule out brain tumours, and blood tests to rule out syphillis, the diagnosis was a mystery virus in my left cochlea.
The treatment was a course of steroid tablets, and this reduced it 50%.
A month later I had a steroid injection through the eardrum, and a few weeks later it all cleared up.
My advice is to at least get a two week course of steroid tablets - they’re cheap and helped me. As a bonus some pain in my left wrist disappeared too.
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
Staff member
I do have tinnitus as well, a bit louder in the left than in the right ear, mainly triggered by chronic neck tension. One can test this by putting tension on the muscles of the neck by looking in the air, turning the head. If the noise gets louder, it's most likely that. For me it's constant high-pitched noise, a bit like "singing" coils in old tube TVs. The main frequency sits where the local (quite small) crickets are rubbing their wings at - while having barbecue my wife always asks "but you do hear that cricket?" ... "Erm.. no."

Lucky me: since it's well defined, limited frequencies at a very high pitch it doesn't affect my mixing abilities. My hearing still is around 100% over the whole frequency range.

From time to time I also hear kind of unrelated clicking noises, a bit like alien-like communication 👽 They can't be triggered, amplified, reduced by whatever, I just have to wait for them to go away. But even while staying in hospital for an appendectomy they didn't find anything related.

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GetAgrippa

Diamond Member
“Beet” me to it. Yep I get auditory hallucinations too infrequently-not sure why. And sometimes I think signals come in from bone conduction (so bypass ears)and your brain decodes into something familiar. My wife laments me commenting on sounds when she know I can’t hear doodle. Me-“Did you hear that” ….She- Eyes roll “What sound?”. Low volume music or speech my brain will interpret incorrectly so I’ll “hear” something completely different. It messes with your confidence if you are not sure of hearing- I’m not sure if my drums sound right tuning
 

moodman

Well-known Member
I've had tinnitus since nine years old, I have noticed some of what you describe but, write it off to confirmation bias giving the sound the nearest, 'likely' source that it might be.
 

someguy01

Platinum Member
I'm mostly going to throw this out there as a curiosity, and I'm interested to see if anyone else with tinnitus experiences this.

First off, as mentioned, I have tinnitus a bit in both ears. I'm of that age, where all my younger years drumming were spent without hearing protection. Also, unrelated to drumming, I lost almost all hearing in my right ear due to either a virus or autoimmune issue. I've lived with both for years.

What this post is about, is that I've started hearing odd sounds when there is a sound like an A/C unit or loud fan, and that's the only sound in the room. It seems I hear birds chirping, or snippets of music, or sometimes just strange sci-fi movie-type sounds just under the noise of the fan.

Anyone else experience this? It's really bizarre. My doc says it's just a trick of the brain, but it can be unnerving. (Interestingly, the tinnitus never really bothered me or interfered with things. It's just there.)

TL/DR: I hear weird noises when a fan is on. Do you??
As yet another of what seems to be a plethora of members with tinnitus, I have experienced this as well and just chalked it up to me slowly going insane. I find it happens most often when a background sound is close to or the same pitch as the ringing. Or, I'm just insane.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
As yet another of what seems to be a plethora of members with tinnitus, I have experienced this as well and just chalked it up to me slowly going insane. I find it happens most often when a background sound is close to or the same pitch as the ringing. Or, I'm just insane.
Well, I can't speak to your sanity, but welcome to the "weird hearing" club!
 

Mr Farkle

Well-known Member
I do have tinnitus as well, a bit louder in the left than in the right ear, mainly triggered by chronic neck tension. One can test this by putting tension on the muscles of the neck by looking in the air, turning the head. If the noise gets louder, it's most likely that.
I have high pitched tinnitus all the time and I can make it worse with jaw movements. You would think that if it's triggered by neck (or jaw) tension there would be some hope of relief through stretching, massage, bio feedback or something, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I've done a lot of reading about tinnitus. Seems that no one really knows what's going on. I don't think they even know if it's coming from the ear or the brain. I haven't heard any of those noises you described. White noise is my friend.
 

drumnut87

Silver Member
i have tinnitus as well (non-music related loss), it varies in pitch and frequency, often changing on its own. i get auditory hallucinations as well, most often musical
 

Cherrie Simms

New Member
i have tinnitus as well (non-music related loss), it varies in pitch and frequency, often changing on its own. i get auditory hallucinations as well, most often musical
Hey,Tinnitus can be extremely frustrating, after comprehensive hearing tests which revealed that I have hearing loss as well as tinnitus, which is pretty common, my audiologist recommended hearing aids, to help in minimizing your awareness of tinnitus while you are using them. This is because they enhance the noises you want to hear, allowing your brain to focus on something else. This has proven to be quite helpful because I can now listen to and comprehend everything that is said.
 

SVBJECT

Active Member
Luckily I've not done much damage yet that I've noticed - but anyone tried these guys (nuraphone)?
My friend got some which we've both tried and you get a circular diagram of your hearing. His is pretty shot in some areas, mine was suitably even the whole way around (although maybe that implies I've flattened my equal-loudness curve?) but it is quite interesting getting playback tailored to your hearing.

Throwing it out there in regards to fans and A/Cs etc, but they may produce sounds below about 20Hz which shouldn't be audible but the body may pick up on - going a bit long winded now, but I wrote my undergrad dissertation on psychological effects of sub-audible bass, and there are some bizarre effects which the brain can trick you into doing - problems for my study was their so random and person-specific they're a bit hard to harness, ie, the fabled "brown note" is gonna be a different frequency for everyone, but that's far lower still.

I'm talking here like fractions below the hearing threshold so some auditory part of the ear is vibrating on it and you wouldn't have 'heard' it above regular hearing, but with the damage done it's all that's left, but with such low frequencies and therefore large waves, perhaps the modulation between the actual sound of the unit, and the sub audible sound is creating the dynamics that your brain interprets as speech or music. I'm speculating; my dissertation was pretty basic and more from a commercial and acoustic perspective (how can I make a nightclub where everyone trips hard? Rotary woofers, etc), rather than anything medical/anatomical.
 

someguy01

Platinum Member
Random question: does anyone take hearing protection to the store when trying out new items?
Assuming you have a store near you and it has actual drums and cymbals for you to play.
 

wraub

Gold Member
Have always worn ear protection, gigging, rehearsing, or at another's show. Always.

Which makes waking up deaf in one ear a while ago a bit of a mystery, which we are exploring for answers.

Good luck, Stroman and others here with hearing issues. I think they're terrible.
 

Braincramp2

Active Member
Mine seems to come in go or maybe just so light at times I have adjusted and don't notice it. My jaw movement effects it also. After playing yesterday Im writing this with major ring in left ear. It is high pitched white noise for me only.
 

BigDrew

Junior Member
Random question: does anyone take hearing protection to the store when trying out new items?
Assuming you have a store near you and it has actual drums and cymbals for you to play.
I do not. However, sometimes I wish I had them when I walk into a Guitar Center.
 
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